SPARTA, NJ – Buses brought the eighth grade students over to the high school last Tuesday for a special visit.  In the auditorium they were first greeted by Principal Ronnie Spring, Athletic Director Steve Stoner and Supervisor of Career and College Readiness Danielle Colte.

Spring said this event came from a survey taken by parents after the eighth grade parent orientation.  This year parents were given a tour of the building and heard from high school panelists. In the survey parents said they wanted their students to be able to have the same experience according to Spring. 

The visiting students then had the opportunity to hear from a panel of current high school students on a host of different topics.

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Colte started the conversation asking the first few questions of the panel, then took questions from the eighth grade visitors.

Q: What one thing do you wish you knew going into high school?

A: You lose your academic assistance period at the end of the day but it is still available during lunch. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency.

A:  Freshmen year grades set the tone for all four years so pay attention to your grades.

Q: Who do you reach out to when you are stressed?

A: Students named specific teachers and suggested students “build relationships with teachers because they don’t want to see you stressed.”

Q: Did anyone switch sports or clubs when they got to high school?

A: One student said they are likely playing tennis because of a baseball injury. 

The questions continued about time management, summer assignments and honor societies.

The final question got everyone’s attention- “How long did it take you to figure out your schedule.”  Many of the panelists responded; “Two to three weeks,” to “a couple of months,”  and even “I still get lost.”

The high school students gave tips including “take a picture of your schedule from the parent portal and make it your screen saver,” and “don’t be afraid to ask someone because we’re all pretty helpful,” and “just remember the schedule rotates so you’ll learn how to go from class to class.”

Half of the students had toured the building in the morning before meeting in the auditorium.  They were joined by the other half of the eighth grade who got their tour after the panel discussion.

The tour of the school included stops in the music rooms, art rooms, cafeteria, school store, robotics room, culinary room, guidance and the media center.

Spring closed out the session, encouraging students to get involved. 

“School leaders come to school every day and get the most our of their high school experience,” he said.